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Finnish F1 driver Valtteri Bottas has revealed that the drivers have their own WhatsApp group which is predominately used for formal race information. However, the 33-year-old says that it can on occasion be taken over by jokers amongst the 20 racers.
“We’ve got a group chat which is actually an official thing for safety things and stuff like that,” said Bottas speaking to NOS. “Sometimes there are some jokers, that’s part of it. But I think every driver is on very good terms and we have good respect.”
Bottas raced alongside Lewis Hamilton for five years at Mercedes and won five Constructors Championships alongside the Brit in that time. However, the Finn left Mercedes in the summer – signing for Alfa Romeo until the end of next season (2023).
At Mercedes, the 33-year-old was used to having an unstoppable car taking 10 Grand Prix victories during his five years with the manufacturer and finishing runner-up in the championship to team-mate Lewis Hamilton twice.
After moving to Alfa Romeo before the 2022 season, the Finn has been fighting for point positions rather than podiums with fifth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix his best of the campaign so far. However, since the summer break Bottas has retired at both the Belgium and Dutch GP.posi
He has also had qualifying problems going out in the Q1 eliminator at both races. Before the Belgium GP, he had an impressive record of 148 races progressing through the first qualification elimination – but this came to an abrupt end.
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Last weekend’s race at Zandvoort went from bad to worse for Bottas. While sitting in the points, the Finn was forced to pull over and retire with an engine problem at the end of the pit straight on lap 55 of 72.
“I think probably the most difficult weekend in terms of the pace in qualifying,” said a disappointed Bottas talking to Formula 1’s official website. “At least in the race it was a bit more promising, but a weekend to learn from.”
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